It has been an honor and privilege to serve as Interim Dean of Santa Clara Law during the past 2 years, a time when we have faced unprecedented challenges and also seen many powerful and moving examples of the strength and dedication of our community. These last two years have brought beautiful stories of students helping other students with time, equipment, food, and funds; faculty spending many hours pivoting to online learning and striving to keep their teaching and student engagement at the highest level; staff working from home to support all of the law schools’ students, faculty, activities, and programs; and our admissions staff dedicating many hours to researching and harnessing new and creative techniques to reach prospective students. I am filled with gratitude for the opportunity to be part of this community for the past 30+ years, for the honor of leading the Law School through these difficult times, and for the support and encouragement I have received from our faculty, staff, students, alumni, and extended community during my tenure. Thank you.
With great regret, I must also share the news that Kevin O’Brien, S.J., has resigned as the President of Santa Clara University, effective May 10. During his time here, Father O’Brien implemented many changes for social justice and racial justice and led us through the pandemic. His leadership will be missed and we extend our best wishes to him. (Click here to read the letter about this from the SCU Board of Trustees.) I also want to ask for our community’s support for Acting President Lisa Kloppenberg, who has been working tirelessly for the University in this role. Given Lisa’s special ties with the Law School, it is more important than ever that we lend her our support. I am sure that they will both appreciate you keeping them in your thoughts and prayers
On a brighter note, I want to give my heartiest welcome to our new dean, Michael J. Kaufman, a nationally renowned educator, scholar, expert on civil procedure and education law, and former dean at Loyola University Chicago School of Law. He will take the reins on July 1, bringing with him a boundless energy and passion for Jesuit education, as well as a deep dedication to students, rigorous scholarship, experiential education, and a supportive and collaborative Law School community. We look forward to hosting online and in-person regional events to welcome Dean Kaufman and enable him to meet our extended Law School family across the country.
We are pleased to be planning two commencement ceremonies for this May 22 and 23 in honor of the class of 2020 and the class of 2021. Our speaker for both will be the Honorable Haywood S. Gilliam, Jr., who was appointed by President Obama and who serves as a United States District Judge for the Northern District of California. We are grateful that we have the opportunity to gather safely to honor our graduating classes.
With all my best wishes for a beautiful and peaceful summer,
Santa Clara Law